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Bitter Trail

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  46 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
In Bitter Trail, Kelton tells the story of a tough teamster named Frio Wheeler whose wagons haul cotton from Texas to Mexico.

Sounds like a peaceable enterprise?

The problem is that the Civil War is raging throughout the South and Wheeler's cotton is to be sold for gold--gold used to buy guns and ammunition for the Confederate army.

And, added to his balky mules, the broiling
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 15th 1997 by Forge Books (first published May 1959)
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Dec 14, 2014 Kevin rated it liked it
As always Elmer Kelton can spin a good yarn!! As a reader you find his stories factual about events and things that took place in history. This one mainly being about the Civil War conflicts in and around Brownsville, TX. The fictional account of the story could have even been similar to true events, as it tells of good friends suddenly finding themselves on opposite sides in the war. Frio Wheeler who is delivering huge loads of cotton by mule for the South for the Confederacy, and his long time ...more
Jul 04, 2013 Jeff rated it liked it
Bitter Trail (1962) This is a relatively early Elmer Kelton novel; like most of his stuff from this period, or most of his stuff for that matter, this is both formulaic but refreshingly written and historically driven. He’s had other novels focus on strife caused in Texas by the Civil War. His heroes are usually sympathetic to the North but loyal to their state. In this novel, the hero is a mule skinner who sides with the south. Lots of well drawn characters and convincing violence. Well done, E ...more
Mar 22, 2016 Teri-k rated it liked it
Interesting story told from the Confederate side of the Civil War. Set in Texas and Mexico, it tells the story of a man who hauls cotton form Texas to Mexico. The proceeds go to support the South in the war, and Union soldiers are eager to stop him. There's also a personal story here, as the hero's best friend and brother of the girl he loves supports the Union.
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Oct 20, 2012
3.5 stars Classic western story. Predictable in parts and still a good story.
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Elmer Kelton (1926-2009) was award-winning author of more than forty novels, including The Time It Never Rained, Other Men’s Horses, Texas Standoff and Hard Trail to Follow. He grew up on a ranch near Crane, Texas, and earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas. His first novel, Hot Iron, was published in 1956. Among his awards have been seven Spurs from Western Writers of America and ...more
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